Polar Patterns - The Polar Seas from a Bird's Perspective

Ever-changing and ever new: In the Arctic and Antarctica, frost and the sun, waves, water and the wind create perpetually changing tints and shades, shapes and patterns. In order to capture the beauty of this interplay, one must take-off and take a bird’s eye view on the polar landscapes. A perspective that only polar researchers like AWI sea ice physicists on their routine survey flights above the ice are lucky enough to slip into. On each of those flights, one or two photographic cameras keep record of the landscape at the scientists’ feet. Pointing vertically downwards, the camera is mounted in the hull of the research aircraft or installed in the torpedo shaped body of the EM-bird – a sea ice thickness measurement device that can be dragged by the research aircraft or a helicopter. The past years of research did hence not only result in new scientific knowledge about sea ice, but also in truly fascinating images, picked by AWI sea ice physicist Stefan Hendricks.

News

The Arctic is facing a decline in sea ice that might equal the negative record of 2012

Arctic sea ice

The Arctic is facing a decline in sea ice that might equal the negative record of 2012

Sea ice physicists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), are anticipating that the sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean this summer may shrink to the record low of 2012. The scientists made this projection after evaluating current satellite data about the thickness of the ice cover. The data show that the arctic sea ice was already extraordinarily thin in the summer of 2015. Comparably little new ice formed during the past winter. Today Dr Marcel Nicolaus, expert on sea ice, has presented these findings at a press conference during the annual General Assembly of the

Several metre thick ice cocktail beneath coastal Antarctic sea ice

Sea ice physics

Several metre thick ice cocktail beneath coastal Antarctic sea ice

Sea ice physicists of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) have developed a new method that allows them for the first time to efficiently determine the distribution and thickness of what researchers call a sub-ice platelet layer. This several metre thick layer of delicate ice crystals is predominantly found beneath coastal Antarctic sea ice, and at present knowledge about its spatial distribution is very limited.

Alga of the Year 2016: Ice alga Melosira arctica – winner or loser of climate change?

Joint Press Release of AWI and DBG

Alga of the Year 2016: Ice alga Melosira arctica – winner or loser of climate change?



Blog

What caused the ring structure? On exploration …

AWI Ice Blog

What caused the ring structure? On exploration …

Blog post by Graeme Eagles and the WEGAS team The WEGAS team has been very excited over the last few days that their work, and polar science in general, has garnered so much interest in the global media. The reason for this of course was the serendipitous discovery of a puzzling ring structure on the […]

Author: Olaf Eisen